“Living the Dream.” (Change/M&A): Recently, I was in London for my monthly trip – someone asked, “Why didn’t our integration & change plan work? Let’s talk about an absolute fact around change: everyone resist’s it. We have no problem talking about change and we certainly don’t mind changing other people. Or, “I’m all for change, ” as long as it’s someone else, then, it’s ok. But always as long as WE don’t have to do anything about it. Have you ever been through a Merger/Acquisition? On the pragmatic side, I asked, “What side fairs better when it comes to integration and “Change Management?” Acquiring or the acquired? Depending on the scope, synergies and complexity, etc., and, aside from the legal, structural & financial dynamics, it’s interesting how all the planning, preparation & transition plan, all too often, fall short of expectations. WHY? While some may establish a task force, consider culture dynamics & time tables, when it comes to the fundamentals that underscore engagement, they lack clarity of intent. They forget how to deliver the message of growth, improvement & inspiration. Most, neglect to target & measure short-term wins that reinforce a business integration plan. Now, on the emotional side, many simply don’t invest in the psychology of change. The need for heightened communication & recalibration. Further, don’t follow through on their comprehensive impact analysis (If, they conducted one). So, what was missed? Creating an effective Communication & Transition plan, structure & one of my favorite words, “Alignment.” So, next time you plan for an M&A, remember to look at & measure the “soft” issues that determine how people feel & quickly define the “new & improved,” Vision, Mission, Values & Goals. Follow the principles of “Conscious Leadership.” And, as a side note…don’t forget your retention strategy.